how to get a free meal
Last night Kelly and I went out to our usual place.
Wait, let me back up. The past couple days have been pretty heavy. On top of listening to someone who’s going through a domestic violence/sexual abuse situation and trying to help her out as best I can, and something happened at work that brought some issues flooding back. So much so that I started contemplating therapy again. With all this heaviness, I thought it would be great to meet Kelly for a drink.
Our server was great. Seriously great. At the beginning we knew she would get a big tip. Then she mentioned how we were an “adorable couple”. In my head I added another 4 dollars to her tip for that comment. As we’re just sitting at our booth talking about our respective days and holding hands (as we do every time), a man walks over to where we’re at, stares right at me and then turns away. Then he does it again. Our great server came by and suggested he drink some water (he was clearly intoxicated). He declined and chose to sit in the booth right behind us. I sensed from the start that this guy was going to be a problem (but second guessed myself and thought I was just projecting). He turns around and looks at us and then back. I’m starting to get anxious and angry. I want the waitress to come back so we can pay and leave. He turns around so blatantly that I ask if I can help him. Then Kelly chimed in – which was great. I got to see her assertive lawyer side come out. She kept telling him to turn around or switch booths if it was a problem. I don’t even want to give any power to the things he said, so I won’t write them down*. Two servers and a manager ended up getting involved. He got kicked out and we got a free meal, drinks, and future free hour of pool and food with loads and loads of apologies (and more mentions that we’re lovely – which let’s face it… we totally are).
I work in the automotive field, so I see guys like this all day long. Usually, they’re not as drunk so they have a filter on, but I can see it in their eyes and body language. I usually just do the smiling customer service thing and then hide in the back. There was that one time that I lost my cool and when a customer walked in and said he didn’t want a “damn dyke” waiting on him that I said “f**k you” to him and then went in the back and cried. Other than that, I keep my composure. I had a hard time dealing with that last night because I didn’t have customer service to hide behind. It felt more vulnerable, more hurtful, and I felt a little trapped.
If my work day had been more of my normal… maybe this wouldn’t have bothered me as much and I’d be awkwardly laughing about this creepy guy who kept trying to look at two chicks holding hands rather than still lying in my bed fuming about an altercation with a hate filled homophobe. In time, I’m sure I’ll be able to transition to the awkward laugh stage, but until then, I’m going to try to pray for him. It’s hard to hate someone you pray for and I don’t want to be the kind of person who hates… because I don’t want to be anything like that man.
*His parting words were “I swear to God, in a pig’s eye”. Not the most brilliant of orators.